The schooling in Kenya was long characterized by the
British system, but has become more independent in its
structure and curricula since the 1980s. However, English is
the main language of instruction. The primary school, which
is free of charge, is run by the state; it covers eight
years and begins at the age of six. The secondary school
covers four years and forms the basis for university
studies. The attendance at primary school in 2009 was 82%.
The proportion that continues in secondary school increased
sharply during the 1990s and is now over 50%. The reading
and writing skills of the adult population (over 15 years)
were estimated in 2009 to be a total of 87%. Kenya has more
than twenty universities and colleges, many of them private.
In 2010, approximately 17% of the state budget was spent on
education. Check topschoolsintheusa for test centers of ACT, SAT, and GRE as well high schools in the country of Kenya.
Throughout the 1990s, police accounted for 60% of all
homicides in the country. This figure grew to 90% in 2001.
The same year, tribal disputes broke out over land and water
access conflicts - both in the Nairobi area and in the
southern part of the country. The burning of villages led to
internal refugee flows.
In February 2002, a law was passed banning the
circumcision of girls under the age of 18. Violation entails
imprisonment. Circumcision is practiced in half of rural
areas and is traditionally considered a means of preventing
In November, a suicide bomb in a car was detonated in
front of an Israeli tourist hotel near Mombasa. It cost 10
Kenyans and 3 Israelis their lives. At the same time, an
Israeli aircraft that was lightening from Mombasa airport
was shot down with a heat-seeking missile. However, this
attack failed and the plane landed safely in Tel Aviv,
Israel. Al-Qaeda took responsibility for the attacks and
announced that new deadly attacks would be directed against
Israel and the United States. Vice President Musalia
Mudavadi declared that his country had "been transformed
into a battleground for the wars of others".
The December 27, 2002 election was won by the Rainbow
Coalition, which had appointed Mwai Kibaki for the
presidential post. When almost all constituencies were
counted, 71-year-old Kibaki had received 63% of the vote,
ending 40 years of KANU rule. His opponent was 42-year-old
Uhuru Kenyatta, son of KANU founder Jomo Kenyatta. The
Rainbow Coalition consists of 10 parties and several jumpers
from KANU. It won 122 constituencies, KANU 52, while the
remaining constituencies were won by smaller parties.
After the election victory, Kibaki declared that the
fight against corruption that was widespread under KANU will
be the most important task for the new government. In
January 2003, he set up an anti-corruption commission, which
in June formally brought charges against President Moi for
fraud. Still, in December, the government provided
guarantees of immunity to Moi. The month before, the IMF had
given its first loan in 3 years to finance the work of the
In 2003, the price of coffee dropped to the lowest level
ever. Coffee is Kenya's most important export item, and the
crisis therefore hit the country hard. At the International
Coffee Conference in London in May, figures from the
International Coffee Organization and the World Bank
revealed that the crisis was triggered by a decline in US
consumption. During the conference, the humanitarian
organization OXFAM released a document stating that the
crisis "is destroying the living conditions of 25 million
coffee workers worldwide".
The coffee crisis has led to economic ruin for most of
the small producers in Kenya. 80% of these are women.
President Kibaki, who has a degree from the London School of
Economics and whose period runs until December 2007, must
deal with the socio-economic consequences of this crisis in
a country where unemployment was already 40% before the
start of the crisis.
In March 2004, Kibaki presented a new draft constitution,
which he had promised already upon his accession. The draft
was to be vetoed by parliament and included a restriction on
the power of the president and the introduction of a prime
ministerial office. In July, a new majority had been
obtained for the new constitution, but a few days later,
Kibaki announced that the adoption of the constitution had
been postponed. This sparked protests in Nairobi and Kisumu.
The protesters were attacked by police shooting at several
hundred people. In Kisumu, one was killed and at least 10
injured. The events intensified the conflicts in the
government and led to several clashes in the capital. Over
100 were arrested during the riots.
In October, environmental and human rights activist
Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize. She had devoted
much of her life to the fight for environmental issues. In
his justification, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said that
Maathai had been chosen for "its contributions to
sustainable development, democracy and peace". 64-year-old
Maathai is the first female African to receive the Peace
In December, Southeast Asia was hit by a fierce tsunami
whose wave reached all the way to Africa, where it also
caused the destruction along Kenya's coast towards the
In August 2005, it was announced that Kenya and Uganda
will jointly build an oil pipeline to connect the Kenyan
city of Eldoret to Uganda's capital, Kampala. Construction
will begin in August 2006 and the pipeline is expected to
open in late 2007. The two countries' governments will
invest 49% of the project's price, while private investors
will contribute the remaining 51%.